Starting today, fireworks are legal for sale and discharge within the city limits of Arkansas City.

FIRE-EMSThe sale and discharge of fireworks are permitted from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today through July 3, as well as from 10 a.m. to midnight July 4.

City officials urge citizens again at this time to enjoy their fireworks responsibly, observe local ordinances governing their use and be respectful of their neighbors as they celebrate this holiday.

Fireworks stands that have permits issued by the City of Arkansas City are located in the parking lots of Twice the Ice, 1501 N. Summit St., and Westlake Ace Hardware, 2013 N. Summit St. There also is the Early Bird Lions Club stand, located in a warehouse building at 1216 W. Madison Ave.

The Westlake stand’s tent was collapsed during a thunderstorm Monday night and it was not immediately clear when it might open, but organizers were working late through the night to load their wares onto a box truck provided by the city. It is anticipated that the stand will open later this week.

City fireworks show

The City of Arkansas City, Arkansas City Area Chamber of Commerce, and Arkansas City Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) will present the annual Fourth of July fireworks display on July 4.

The fireworks show will begin around dusk, or approximately 9:30 p.m. As in years past, the show will be shot from Spring Hill Golf Course and music for the show will be provided by KSOK 95.9 FM.

The city, chamber and CVB would like to thank everyone who has helped to make this event successful. It would not be possible without the tremendous financial support of the community and local businesses. It is only through their donations that this event is possible each year for citizens to enjoy.

To help to support the fireworks show in 2018 and beyond, citizens may make a donation through the chamber of commerce and CVB at their office at 106 S. Summit St., Arkansas City, KS 67005.

For questions about donating, contact Chamber President Kammy Downs at (620) 442-0230 or ceo@arkcitychamber.org. For fireworks show questions, call City Manager Nick Hernandez at (620) 441-4414.

Fire chief offers safety tips

Fireworks are meant to be enjoyed, but you’ll enjoy them much more knowing that your family is safe, according to Arkansas City Fire Chief Bobby Wolfe.

Extra precaution and care should be taken with fireworks. There are both proper and improper ways to use and dispose of fireworks.

For questions about fireworks safety, call Wolfe at the Arkansas City Fire-EMS Department at (620) 441-4430, or email bwolfe@arkansascityks.gov or cranzau@arkansascityks.gov.

Purchase of fireworks

Buy only legal fireworks — legal fireworks have a label with the manufacturer’s name and directions, while illegal ones are unlabeled — and store them in a cool, dry place. Legal fireworks include:

  • UN0336 or UN0337 Consumer Fireworks;
  • 4G DOT Class C Consumer Fireworks;
  • 4G UN0336 Consumer Fireworks;
  • UN0336 Consumer Fireworks;
  • UN0337 “Safe and Sane” seal from the California State Fire Marshal.

Illegal fireworks usually go by the names M-80, M100, bottle rocket, blockbuster, cherry bomb or quarter-pounder.

These explosives were banned in 1966, but still account for some fireworks injuries each year.

Never try to make homemade fireworks. Fireworks are designed and inspected by professionals for your safety. It is illegal to tamper with or use fireworks in manners for which they are not designed.

Supervision is required

Parents or an adult always should supervise children younger than 18 closely if they are using fireworks. Children and youths never should play with fireworks — firecrackers, rockets and sparklers are just too dangerous.

Sparklers are designed for outdoor use only. When using sparklers, be sure to keep them away from one’s face, clothing and hair. They can reach a temperature of 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit — hot enough to melt gold.

Discharge, disposal of fireworks

Always use fireworks outside, and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.

Steer clear of others — fireworks have been known to backfire or even to shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even in a joking manner.

Do not hold fireworks in one’s hand or have any part of one’s body over them while lighting them.

Wear some sort of eye protection, and avoid carrying fireworks in a pocket — the friction from walking, running or jumping can cause fireworks to discharge.

Point fireworks away from homes, and keep them away from brush, leaves or flammable substances. Light one firework at a time — never in glass or metal containers — and never relight a dud.

Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can. Store the soaked remains of fireworks in a trash can that is at least 10 feet from any structure or vehicle until a scheduled trash pickup.

Think about pets. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll run loose or be injured.

Finally, always remember: ALCOHOL AND FIREWORKS DON’T MIX!

Reporting violations

If you see a violation of Arkansas City ordinances involving the sale of fireworks, please call the Arkansas City fire prevention division at (620) 441-4430 and ask to speak with an inspector.

If the violation involves illegal fireworks, the discharge of fireworks or anything other than the sale of fireworks, please call 911 or (620) 441-4444 and report the information to a dispatcher.

For more information regarding the legalities of fireworks within the city limits, please refer to the relevant section of Arkansas City Municipal Code at http://bit.ly/acfireworks.

This information was provided by City of Arkansas City Public Information Officer and Special Projects Coordinator Andrew Lawson.

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